Researchers, manufacturers and others are working hard to create materials, products and processes that reduce carbon emissions and have less of a negative impact on the environment. They’re making great strides and announcing helpful innovations regularly.

But, of course, it takes time for new ideas to reach a point where companies can capitalize on them. And with mounting pressure from regulatory agencies, customers and others to shrink their carbon footprint, businesses are feeling that they need to start showing progress now.

If your company is striving to do that, there’s good news. There are many tactics available to you today to make your operations more sustainable. Transportation, in particular, is an area where you can take action today to be a little greener.

Those actions help the environment, but they also benefit your company in multiple ways, including:

  • Enhanced efficiency. Sustainability initiatives can identify ways your company can work more efficiently.
  • Cost reductions. Being more efficient helps you cut costs. For example, if you determine how two people can complete a task previously requiring three, you can focus one person’s efforts on other responsibilities.
  • Increased profitability. The follow-on from enhancing efficiency and cutting costs is greater profitability. And whether that capital goes directly to the bottom line or is earmarked for other purposes, it’s a win.
  • Enhanced brand image and increased business opportunities. “Green” has gone from being a buzzword many years ago to being an expectation of many businesses and consumers today. When deciding which of two similar organizations to support, the one with a demonstrable focus on sustainability increasingly lands the business.
  • Increased readiness for future legislation. Rules and regulations around carbon emissions and other aspects of sustainability will continue to get stricter in the years and decades ahead. If you’re proactive about making positive changes in your operations, you won’t find yourself scrambling to meet new requirements.
  • Improved employee morale. People have differing degrees of environmental awareness, but everyone appreciates it when the company they work for takes action to make the planet more livable for them and their families.

So, how can you make your transportation operations greener? Several proven practices are described below.

From Alternative Fuels to Well-Maintained Semi Trailers: Tips for Improving Sustainability

Whether you have multiple shipments going out daily or lower volumes, the eight actions below can help your company’s transportation operations be a little greener.

1. Learn about alternative fuels. Switching to alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) is an investment, but it can pay tremendous long-term dividends. More companies than ever are considering natural gas, hydrogen and electric vehicles or have already started using them.

2. Reduce “empty miles.” For many companies, a substantial percentage of transportation miles logged are with an empty semi trailer. The fuel burned on those legs is wasted, and the carbon emitted is unnecessary. Businesses are learning that improved route planning, load sharing and other strategies can greatly reduce empty miles.

3. Leverage new vehicle designs. Truck and semi trailer manufacturers continue to improve vehicle designs to reduce carbon emissions. For example, improved aerodynamics can increase fuel efficiency.

4. Use better driving practices. Accelerating more gradually, braking more slowly and avoiding unnecessary lane changes may not seem like “green” practices, but they are, and they make a difference. So do other sustainability insights, like the fact that fuel expands as it warms, so you can get more gas in your tank (and reduce your stops) if you fuel up early in the morning. It’s also important to recognize how much fuel your truck burns as it idles and to shut the engine down whenever you’re stationary for an extended period.

5. Improve vehicle maintenance practices. Well-maintained trucks and semi trailers use less fuel and produce fewer emissions, so increasing the frequency and quality of your maintenance activities is a great way to improve your sustainability. And as a bonus, maintaining your trucks and semi trailers properly helps you identify and address minor problems before they become major repair or replacement expenses.

6. Reduce unused equipment inventory. Equipment you have but rarely use is an unneeded resource that costs you money. For example, having more semi trailers than you typically require isn’t helpful. It’s better to equip your company to meet typical demands and rent or lease semi trailers if/when you anticipate or experience shipping volume spikes.

7. Go paperless. Making your transportation operations greener isn’t only about what happens on the road or in the garage. Changes you make to your administrative practices can also have a positive impact. With the right technology in place, you can run your transportation department with less paper or none at all.

8. Recycle. Companies today are recycling more than ever, but most can still improve in this area. Taking a little time to find additional materials that can go into the recycling bin rather than the dumpster continues to be one of the best ways you can help the environment.

Going Incrementally Greener

With so many ways to make your transportation operations more sustainable, it can be challenging to decide where to start. And unfortunately, that causes some companies not to start at all.

The best way to overcome that reluctance is to pick one focus area initially. For example, you might decide to commit more resources to maintaining your trucks and semi trailers, thereby reducing your carbon footprint. Then, after you’ve adopted that practice and it has become second nature, you can pick and pursue another green initiative. That way, you make immediate progress and demonstrate your commitment to ongoing improvement with each additional step you take.

Your Reliable Semi Trailer Resource

If you’re looking to rent or lease semi trailers to meet short- or long-term needs, it’s helpful to get to know that provider before the need arises.

At Boxwheel, we have a long list of companies in Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Utah and Nevada that consider us their semi trailer partner. They trust us for well-maintained flatbeds, dry vans, reefers and other types of trailers from leading manufacturers like Wabash, Utility and Great Dane.

Contact Boxwheel Trailer Leasing today to discuss your needs and how we can meet them.

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